A couple of years ago when walking in the Ochils in central Scotland a large bird of prey with vast rectangular wings loomed into view. It was of such a size that I knew instantly it was a sea eagle, even before bringing it into focus through my binoculars.
A couple of years ago when walking in the Ochils in central Scotland a large bird of prey with vast rectangular wings loomed into view. It was of such a size that I knew instantly it was a sea eagle, even before bringing it into focus through my binoculars. Although I am normally reserved in manner, this surprise sighting placed me in a state of great animation, pointing out the soaring raptor to another hillwalker nearby and thrusting my binoculars into his hands.
Sea eagles do that – they excite and inspire, and this is why RSPB Scotland, working in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland, is now gearing up for the next phase of the East of Scotland Sea Eagle Project, which will be looking to maximise the public enjoyment of these magnificent reintroduced birds. The final round of the six-year annual east coast reintroduction programme involving six young eagles from Norway was completed in August with additional funding support this year from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Local Government LEADER. Eighty-five birds have been released in total and the first eagles are now reaching sexual maturity with it being anticipated that the first nesting attempts will occur over the next few years, which according to Rhian Evans, RSPB sea eagle project officer, brings exciting opportunities for businesses and communities.
Rhian says it is now very much a waiting game, and while there are encouraging signs that some of the reintroduced birds are developing pair bonds, it is impossible to predict when and where the first nesting attempts may occur.